That’s better (sort of). Even though it grows over a lot of last season’s derivative babble, Season 7 of Charmed is one that I’ve always felt weird about, for a couple of reasons. The first being how much it felt like the show was really ready to finish up, with a sense that things were coming to some sort of a close, but for outside reasons, the girls were forced to live on for another year. It’s something that halts a lot of the significance of what happened this year, with the writers having to dig themselves out of a hole come season 8, even though I’m glad a lot of it was un-done. It does go for broke with some of its storylines though, with the opening arc showing a lot of promise with regards to the ideas that the writers can still bring about. There’s a host of new characters brought in this season, too but, in keeping with Charmed’s tradition, most of them suck.
The first of these abominations is Nick Lachey’s Leslie, who’s about as charming as a sundried sardine. Naturally, he falls into Phoebe’s generic love interest slot (this is filled again come season 8 with someone even drier). There’s a whole bunch of stuff that happens with him and Phoebe after he takes over her job when she takes a totally unnecessary sabbatical, but honestly, I can’t find much to say about it all, other than the fact that it was total pants. She does find some better ways of filling her time after he skips town, with the Avatars (more on that later), helping out a fellow seer (effortlessly played by Charisma Carpenter), and finding solace in Billy Zane’s colourful Drake, one of my favourite guest stars in the show’s history. All of this actually makes Phoebe one of the most likeable of the sisters, at least for a while.
Following on from the death of Chris’s future self last season, Piper and Leo spend a lot of time picking up the pieces left scattered after Gideon’s misguided plot to kill Wyatt. This is a storyline that ventures into some really dark territory, while still tying nicely with the Avatars and their plans to change the world. It fizzles out by later on in the year, but kudos to the show for sticking with Leo’s dark trip down killer lane. Piper’s stories usually revolve around her family life, and between Leo’s troubles, and the birth of her second son, this season is even more so about her being a Mom, but she never really becomes totally useless, especially with Holly still able to bring drama and relatability to even the most ill-conceived of scripts.
Just like Piper and Leo, Paige’s biggest story this season falls in line with the Avatars, with her new bed-buddy Kyle (Kerr Smith) harbouring a serious grudge against them. It’s another storyline that also goes into some surprisingly meaningful places, but it’s all drenched in too much stupidity and irrationality for me to care as much about it as I should have. I did like the idea of Paige turning teacher later on in the season, especially if you look back to her soaking it all up as the Harry to Piper’s Dumbledore in season 4, but it’s another facet of the whole magic school taking over the show thing that I just can’t help but despise.
The Avatars, on the other hand, aren’t that easy to hate. The whole arc hits some fascinatingly grey areas, with the girls finally realising that you can never eliminate all the bad from the world, no matter how much you want to. And though I’d love to say it’s an arc I loved, I can’t help but feel empty with how easily, and quietly it all finished.
I think my whole action-fuelled face-off craving was filled by the time the season closed, though, with Zankou taking over once the Avatars took off. Oded Fehr is one of the show’s better guest stars who manages to shine despite the ridiculous leather get up, and though it’s all a little jumbled, I enjoyed watching the girls outwit his ass in ‘Something Wicca This Way Goes’.
Even though this whole season was like a big march to the finish line, I’m still a little happier that the show didn’t bow out just yet. The ending felt rushed, and with 7 seasons in the bag, Charmed was a series that deserved proper resolution. Will I regret saying that next season?
Best Episode(s): ‘Witchness Protection’
Worst Episode(s): ‘Cheaper by the Coven’, ‘Charrrmed’, ‘The Bare Witch Project’, ‘Show Ghouls’.
Best Character(s): Kira, Drake, Zankou, Phoebe :O .
Worst Character(s): Leslie, All of the Elders...